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oral language


The children have shown an interest in learning about dinosaurs so my ECE partner and I decided to enhance the idea by making an attractive centre.  We used table cloths for water and land, we added wood pieces for children to do as they wish, and dinosaurs.  Children brought over the books that illustrated where they lived, some wrote the dinosaur names referenced in the books and I displayed their writing next to the table, and words that describe some new knowledge about dinosaurs are also posted.  The display is on our sandbox table which we decided to switch over for the week.  Simple, easy, and has sparked some new learning on the topic! 

Next we will change the sandbox into a Paleontologist work site.  We have bones from a left over turkey, some brushes, name tags and some fun dinosaur hats they can wear to begin their research in the sand!


 Oral language is a critical part of the FDK program.  Oral language is integrated into every aspect of the program to ensure children have a solid base for communicating their thoughts and ideas, develop comprehension skills, building social skills, and developing a good foundation for literacy. 

Early on in September we begin expose children to letters and the associated sounds.  Each board has different programs, but I follow the Jolly Phonics program.  I collect assessment data late September/October to identify their oral language skills (OLA), letter and sound recognition, as well as DRA for SK.  This will give me a good baseline to see where I need to plan, who needs further support in either small or large group. 

Literacy blocks should include a combination of read aloud-supporting literacy strategies like retell, making connections, building comprehension, and gaining word knowledge; shared reading-emphasizing concepts of print like left to right, word by word reading

independent reading where children have an opportunity to explore books of various genres either in the reading centres, during transition times, or in various centres. 

A focus on letters and sounds is integrated into the literacy block so students can acquire these skills to develop a strong foundation for reading and writing.

The picture below shows a variety of books with some ideas on how they could fit into a reading block with a teaching focus.

There is a look at at variety of reading strategies that can be integrated into the literacy block. In the read alouds we are modelling for the students and building on their comprehension.  Graphic organizers like a Go-Chart gives a visual of Charcters, Setting, Plot, Events, and ending. 

  Other ideas to include are the retell glove, working on schema, predicting, confirming, thinking about beginning, middle, end; asking what is your favourite part, sequencing, or comparing characters gets the children talking about books. 

In essence, we want to move children along to become independent readers.  This is a sample of ideas to include in a literacy block around reading.  Responding to reading about their favourite part, connections, etc. also solidifies their learning and comprehension skills.  Writing will be the next blog focusing on the literacy block.


Often we found that we needed to stimulate some conversation within the centres and to change things up from the typical blocks in our building centre, we brought in recylced materials.  We collected a variety of boxes, toilet paper rolls, and added some tape, crayons, and scissors.  We got some logs from the forest about 8 pieces that they would be able to carry easily.  We bought some reflective vests, PVC piping from the plumbing section of the hardware store and pylons from the gym. 

The look on their faces the very next day was priceless!  As the day progressed they creativity was truly coming to live and the oral conversations were great!  Later on we added some inspirational pictures and books of firefighters, buildings, and different modes of transportation.  This also lead us into creating moving vehicles in our art centre.  We created modes of transportation using recycled materials, straws, dowels, spools, etc.